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Your country needs DESIGN!

5th October, 2018 by Lydia

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Amongst the intricate temples, beautiful rural scenery and flavoursome food I discovered whilst travelling in Vietnam, I also came across Graphic Design to match.
During a visit to the War Remnants museum in Saigon, which has just been listed as one of the top ten museums in the world, I found a display of posters designed during the Vietnam War to spread propaganda and communicate solidarity.

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One piece of design was particularly striking; a poster created by Cuba to show their support for Vietnam. The Cuban and Vietnamese flag had been cleverly combined to create the shape of a dove, a symbol of peace. You instantly understand what the poster is communicating and how it shows solidarity through the powerful imagery. The text translates ‘Vietnam – Cuba Group – Congregation for happiness – Development.’
The Cuban poster designs are bold, bright and have an aura of positivity about them. They are unique and stand out against other, darker, more distressing designs during this time. It’s amazing to think, that in such an unpleasant time, such beautiful design can be created.

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It got me wondering, how uncertain times, such as war, can bring out such great design. Perhaps it’s the need to communicate in a short amount of time, to catch the eye, to develop an individual style or to visualise particular ideologies? Maybe it’s a combination of these elements that make it so unusual.
This exhibition reminds me just how powerful and important graphic design can be. Not only can it communicate a message, it can influence people’s feelings and alter their opinions on such life changing matters.

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